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Dorothea Dix, 19th Century Mental Health Reformer

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 3 months ago

Dorothea Dix was a mental health reformer and teacher.

 

She opened a school for girls, back during a time when girls didn’t go to school. When she visited prisons, she realized how terrible and inhumane people with mental illnesses were treated.

 

Dix impacted how we look at mental health today by advocating for people with mental illnesses (Karli Doney, May 2022).

 

Between 1843 and 1880, she helped to establish 32 new mental hospitals across the U.S. - including in New York, Indiana, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Dorothea Dix

 

 Cross-Links

 

 


Dorothea Dix

 

A quick biography of Dorothea Dix, from Britannica

 

Dorothea Dix, from American Journal of Public Health

 

Click here for another biography of Dorothea Dix from the Science Museum.org. 

 

Dorothea Dix:  Mental Health Reformer and Civil War Nurse

 

Additional Biographical Information

 

 

Click here to learn more about the Civil War. 

 

During her life, Dix had also opened a school for young girls, when girls were not allowed to go to public schools.

 

  • Here for a timeline about how women transitioned into becoming teachers.

 

  • Here for a timeline that gives an overview of how education has evolved into what it has become today. 

 

  • Timeline of Dorothea Dix's Life

http://www.softschools.com/timelines/dorothea_dix_timeline/434/ 

 

 

Click here to learn more about how Dorothea Dix redefined mental illness. 

 

Book, Opened, Pages, Reading, Learn, Blank, White Voices for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix

 

While Dorothea Dix had taken a job as a teacher within prisons, she observed much about how prisoners were treated.

 

  • Click here for a timeline that reflects prison reforms and how there have been vast changes to the prison system. 

 

Dix spearheaded a bill to provide federal land to build institutions for the mentally ill.  It was vetoed by President Franklin Pierce

 

 

Click here for an article about Nellie Bly titled "The woman who exposed 19th-century New York's inhumane treatment of mental health patients"

 

 

 

 

March 28, 1841:  Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade

 

 

 

 

Memorial to the Massachusetts Legislature (1843)

 

Letter from Dorothea Dix to Mary, March 29, 1865

 

 

Conversations on Common Things

 

In 1824, Dix published the textbook Conversations on Common Things

 

 

Link to the EBook of this Text: https://books.google.com/books/about/Conversations_on_Common_Things_Or_Guide.html?id=2OwXAAAAYAAJ 

 

 

Click here for a high school lesson plan about mental illness. 

 

Click here for an overarching time line that looks at all kinds of different reforms made to in order to better understand mental health. 

 

 Multimedia Resources

 

Dorothea Dix on YouTube

 

Information on Dorothea Dix and some insight given on the history on nursing. 

 

TEDx Talk on Dorthea Dix and her influence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjbKlo1i49s 

 

Example of a possible project for students about Dix, 

An animated cartoon depicting her life using the program PowToon :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8zbXl2EAkM&t=30s 

 

Click here for a 10 minute video about Dorothea Dix. 

 

Click here to find out more about how Dorothea Dix's reforms apply to today. 

 

Click here to learn more about other women reformers. 

 

How We Understand Mental Illness Today:

 

Click here to learn more about mental illness. 

 

Click here to learn more about how the treatment of mental illness has changed. 

 

Click here for a video titled: "Behind Closed Doors: A Look Inside Insane Asylums of the 19th Century"

 

 

  Click here for a Tedx Talk video that discusses various things that are not regarded when talking about mental illness. 

 

 

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